HomeNewsArticle Display

Cyclist, singer, colonel: Buckley vice commander does it all

Col. Darren Buck, 460th Space Wing vice commander poses with military working dog, Nina. (courtesy photo)

Col. Darren Buck, 460th Space Wing vice commander poses with military working dog, Nina. (courtesy photo)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- In the public's eye, Col. Darren Buck, 460th Space Wing vice commander, is a strong presence. His confidence demands attention, and there's something about his friendly demeanor that keeps his audience intrigued.

Buck has served his entire career as a space operator and system engineer, on and off of active duty status with the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and across the aerospace industry, performing duties as varied as technical operations, strategic planning, academic instruction, and speechwriting. He currently serves as Buckley's vice commander, but behind the scenes, there's more to him than meets the eye.

An avid cyclist, outdoorsman, actor, and singer, Buck spends his free time exploring a wide range of different activities. He admits that he finds it hard to stay focused sometimes.

"You could call it a blessing or a curse depending on your perspective," Buck laughed. "Sometimes I feel spread too thin because I have so many varied interests."

A man of many talents, Buck began to explore his creative side when he was a lieutenant.

"We had a rock band when I was stationed at Falcon, which is now Schriever," Buck said. "We played parties, bars, officer clubs, and NCO clubs. That was a lot of fun. It was a great way to expand on a personal level. There are few things more challenging than getting up in front of a crowd and performing."

Buck later started singing the National Anthem at the bases where he was stationed.

"I always think 'why not?'" Buck said. "That's kind of the way I'm wired. I'll give anything a shot. As for the Star Spangled Banner, as Americans, we hear the song all the time, and we all know it, but it's a far more difficult song to perform well than most people realize."

Performing led Buck to participate in community theatre, which he says has been an incredibly positive and constructive experience. He highly encourages people to get involved in performing.

"I have had the great fortune of having been involved with community theatre groups who go overboard with their encouragement," Buck said. "It was always very positive, regardless of the level of the performance. I want to pay it forward and encourage people to experience it. My support for the Panther Den's 'Open Mic Night' events is an example."

Buck is also a huge advocate for cycling.

"I'm a big proponent of cycling," Buck said. "Not just cycling for fitness or competition, but rediscovery of cycling as a basic form of transportation. Congestion, economics, pollution, fitness, health...all of these are important issues, especially in urban and suburban America. Cycling can have a positive impact on all of these.  If there were more people cycling, the world would be a better place."

Despite his various interests, there's one constant that stays close to his heart -Buckley AFB.

"Buckley is a special place," Buck said. "The warning mission we have here is foundational to the entire defense posture for the Nation, our allies, and every combatant command. Additionally, with all of our tenants, the intelligence community, all our sister services, and all the guard and reserve components, Buckley is a microcosm for the entire defense structure of the Nation. Team Buckley has everything but ships and tanks."

Buck said Colorado is such a great place to work and play.

"Get the mission done first, that's why we're here," he said. "Whatever's put in front of you -- own it. Do the absolute best that you can at whatever it is. We're in a world where we have to expect the best. But I want to encourage people to have fun as well as get a lot of professional satisfaction."

Buck's time as the Vice Commander will be temporary. A new Vice Commander will arrive later this summer. However, Buck is always up to any challenge and is looking forward to what comes next.

"The Air Force has sent me to cool places, to work on cool stuff, with really cool people," he said. "I'm not sure what's next, but I'll go wherever I need to go. I love my Air Force and my fellow Airmen."
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.